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Published 1938

Trip down the Hudson River from Albany to New York City.

Run time 10:16
Producer ERPI Classroom Films, Inc.
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


The story of a trip down the Hudson River from Albany to New York.

Ferry leaving the pier
Rock quarry along Hudson - view from river
Row of lifeboats on board ferry
CU Lifeboat
Sequence of boat engines
Establishing shot of ocean liner

Two grade school children (boy and girl) standing on deck of boat behind railing with lifesaver inscribed "Alexander Hamilton, New York"
People board boat, whistle blows on smokestack. Boat pulls away from Manhattan pier. Hudson River. Dayliner. VS 2 children on deck.
Barge traffic on Hudson River. Tugboats. Passengers sit on deck at chairs and tables. Lighthouse, lifeboats, CU lifeboat. Children wave. Dayliner passes "Hendrick Hudson". People wave.
Captain steers boat. Children explore decks. Captain lets them steer. Captain demonstrates wheel.
Boat passes under railroad bridge.
20:48 55
Passing car ferryboat. Kayak paddles by. Canoe with a sail. Sailboat.
Ships engine room. Machinery. Engineer pulls levers.
New Jersey Palisades (cliffs on west side of Hudson River).
Oil tanker. Motor yacht. Cabin cruiser. Speedboat.
Shot of George Washington Bridge from below.
Fireboat shooting stream of water. Barge. Tugboat.
Children on deck of boat next to American flag.
3 masted schooner in New York Harbor. Ferryboat in New York Harbor. Police patrol boat. Ocean liner. Freight boat being unloaded (sugar from Cuba).
Large ocean liner and tugboats.
Roger and Nancy, two children about 10 years old, board the "Alexander Hamilton," climb to the upper deck, and watch activities on the dock as the gangplank is raised and hawsers are cast off. The whistle blows and they start on their journey. As they move smoothly along, Roger and Nancy see ways in which people use the river. First, they see a large freighter being loaded with lumber.
Then, across the river they see a huge rock quarry where barges are loaded with stone and pulled downstream by strong tugs. The lighthouses and lifeboats that they see indicate some of the ways in which passenger safety is cared for. Soon they meet the "Hendrick Hudson," another boat on its way up the river from New York.
Roger and Nancy become interested in the ways in which the boat is operated. They see the captain in the wheelhouse and decide to visit him. The captain greets them pleasantly, answers their questions, and explains the use of the wheel to steer the boat and of the signaling apparatus - connected to the engine room.
The boat passes under a high railroad bridge and approaches a town. Ferryboats wait for the "Alexander Hamilton" to pass. Various kinds of boats are shown on the river -- kayaks, canoes equipped with sails, and large sailboats. By this time, Roger and Nancy are wondering what makes their boat run, so they go below to watch the huge engine in operation. They also watch the engineer operate levers that control the direction in which the boat travels.
Returning to the deck, Roger and Nancy are just in time to see the Palisades near New York City. They meet another freight boat, a brightly finished motor yacht, a cabin cruiser, and an outboard motorboat.
Soon they pass under the huge George Washington bridge, and near by they see a fireboat practicing as it throws streams of water high into the air. A barge carrying gasoline is moved along by a tugboat. Roger and Nancy see an old sailing ship lying at anchor in the river, its masts bare of sails. They watch a ferryboat on its way to New York from New Jersey and a police patrol boat. An ocean liner is helped to a pier by tugs. Bags of sugar are unloaded from a freighter from Cuba. The film ends as a huge liner, the "Normandie," is pushed into the stream with the help of tugs and starts its long journey to Europe.



Reviewer: Bri-Elma-NY - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 19, 2016
Subject: Enjoyed it!
You don't see much original film documentation on these side-paddle steam ships. I never knew how popular such ships were until I started researching them a few years ago. Many of the old steamers on the Great Lakes were side paddle. I suppose there were advantages to such a propulsion system. The engine was certainly close to the paddles, which must've been of some benefit (e.g., efficiency, fewer moving parts, reliability). Having all the propulsion machinery at the center of the ship probably allowed for more open area for passengers at the front and back.

I wish this film had shown more of the engine room. This ship had a triple expansion steam engine. Those were quite efficient because the steam performed work in three cylinders before being exhausted. The engine's manufacturer isn't specified anywhere that I can find.

Thanks for uploading this film.
Reviewer: bob9648 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 31, 2013
Subject: Alexander Hamilton
I remember this ship from my childhood, growing up in Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park, and would ride on it every summer with my Dad an Grandmother.
Its last stop at Poughkeepsie was in September, 1962, but ran up as far as the Mid-Hudson Bridge from Manhattan until Labor Day, 1971. I took the sail from NY to Poughkeepsie, every year from 1965 to 1970.I miss her whistle which echoed through the Hudson Valley. I have many fond memories of this ship from my days growing up in Dutchess County.
Reviewer: arrogant SOB - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 17, 2010
Subject: Hudson River
The Dayline actually stopped the Alabany runs in 1948, but the Alexander Hamilton ran until 1971 when it was replaced. I grew up in Poughkeepsie,and remember this boat as a part of my childhood, and rode on it frequently with my Dad and Grandmother. Other ships from that timeframe were the Peter Stuyvesant (through 1962) and the Robert Fulton, which ran through 1954. Back in the 50s, the Day Line was one of the few things to do in Poughkeepsie during the summertime.
Reviewer: wilso127 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 7, 2008
Subject: Takes Me Back........
I vividly remember these ERPI Classroom Films from grammar school in Newburgh NY in the early 1940's. Even more so, I remember taking the Hudson River Dayliners from Newburgh to Poughkeepsie and back, and with my dad or grandmother, and travelled on the sleek ALEXANDER HAMILTON, the HENDRICK HUDSON (the oldest and largest one in my day), the triple-stacker walking-beamer ROBERT FULTON, the more compact PETER STUYVESANT, and the relatively small CHAUNCEY DEPEW. This film brings back so many memories!!!
Reviewer: ThinkingAmerican - favorite - May 20, 2007
Subject: Dull as toast
I have to agree with ERD on this. The film is so incredibly dull. The narrator speaks as if his listeners are idiots. I realize this short was intended for children, but not idiots! Also, I was hoping for some landmarks along the Hudson River, but there's zilch. The film is mostly an extremely simplistic explanations of how a boat works and what you might see on the river.

High Points - The boy sure wears some spiffy period clothes.

Low Points - Did I mention it was dull, dull, dull?
Reviewer: sfgray - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 1, 2006
Subject: Great shot of Normandie
At the end of the film are two scenes with Normandie, one of it being tugged out of its berth and the other with it apparently at sea. Makes the film worth having for ocean liner buffs.
Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavorite - September 4, 2005
Subject: No landmarks?
The film fails to mention most landmarks on the Hudson. Isn't that a high point of the ride?
(Ex:West Point, Bear Mountain, etc.) The film concentrates a bit too much on the mechanical aspects. The narrator over emphasizes many words
which I feel was unnecessary. I realize this children's educational film was made in 1938, but it seems a bit sluggish for even that time period.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 14, 2003
Subject: Dick and Jane Go on a Boat Ride
This ERPI film should have been titled Dick and Jane Go on a Boat Ride. Nancy and Roger go on a boat ride down the Hudson River and the narrator tells us all about it in a bright, simplistic fashion. For an ERPI film, though, this is pretty darned exciting. The soundtrack is full of boat whistles and water sounds and thereÃÂs even a part where characters talk to each other in synchronized sound!! This is when Nancy and Roger visit the captain of the boat, who tells them that when he turns the wheel this way, it makes the boat go to the right, and when he turns it this way, it goes to the left. This is great msting fodder, folks. See Roger and Nancy on the boat. Go, Roger and Nancy, go!
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavorite - January 30, 2003
Subject: Boats!!!!
In the incredibly imaginatively titled 'Boats', we see two kids, named Roger and Nancy, troop up and down the ferry boat they are on which is crossing the Hudson and not only see other boats on the water, but visit the other people who run the ferry they are on as well. In what would now get you thrown on the floor and arrested for a breach of ship secuirity, we see Roger and Nancy wander into the navigation room to visit the captain, The kids talk in this VERY strange accent, (cockney perhaps?) and bubbily ask the captain what he does. The captain reccomends the kids check out the engine room to see the engineer at work. Are these the only two people on board?
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